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Should you eat raw eggs?

Find out what are the health risks of eating raw eggs.

From your mayonnaise to Caesar dressing raw eggs have been a staple everywhere. Even weightlifters and athletes crack raw eggs into their smoothies and oats to get a protein boost. So why are we asked not to eat raw eggs? Let us ask from nutritionist Padma Syal what raw eggs really bring to our plate.

Nutrition

You will be surprised to know that just one tiny raw egg contains about 3g of protein, apart from vitamins A, B and E, lutein and antioxidants. Heating up a raw egg can slightly diminish a number of nutrients but the nutritional difference between a cooked egg and a raw egg is insignificant. Raw eggs contain choline, a mineral that supports brain function and proteins that support the nervous and immune system functions but practically none of these nutrients are lost when the egg is cooked. So when it comes to nutrition, cooked eggs and raw eggs are pretty close. Here's why you should eat whole eggs and not just egg whites.

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Digestion

But when to comes to digestion cooked eggs have a leg up. According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, our bodies absorb only 50 percent of eggs protein when we consume it raw and it absorbs around 90 percent of the protein when we consume it cooked [1].Also, one of the egg proteins, avidin when raw or undercooked can bind to biotin and make it unavailable for absorption. The only way to make sure that the biotin does not inhibit the protein absorption is to eat with fully cooked. So there is really no point dropping a raw egg into your smoothie if you looking to build muscles.

Health risks

There is just one small risk of eating raw eggs. Chicken lay eggs from the same opening as it poops so eggs are prone to be exposed to harmful bacteria like Salmonella which can be carried on the surface of the egg shells. A salmonella infection can cause food poisoning symptoms, like diarrhoea, nausea fever and headache. All the myths about eggs are busted here.

Reference:

[1] Digestibility of Cooked and Raw Egg Protein in Humans as Assessed by Stable Isotope TechniquesJ. Nutr. 1998 128: 10 1716-1722

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